Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships Committee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The committee continues to work toward finalizing our toolkit of resources for approval. An introductory paragraph has been developed to provide context to PLA members about the toolkit. Committee members are also reviewing the toolkit resources in comparison to United Against Book Bans partners per directions from PLA. The toolkit, which lists intellectual freedom resources, is an advocacy tool in line with PLA's strategic plan.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
A tremendous opportunity for this committee would be to offer advocacy training for public library workers. While I was hopeful this would happen under my tenure, the time commitment required to do this well combined with the limited time on the committee will likely limit us to getting the toolkit published. Another opportunity I hoped to pursue was a model for national partnership with other organizations with shared values with PLA. Strategic partnerships are a form of advocacy that helps further PLA's mission and goals.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
N/A

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
Perhaps closer cooperation with ALA would be valuable to this committee since final approval for major initiatives needs to come from ALA.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?

Submitted by Ashley Teagle on 01/10/2024

Public Libraries Advisory Committee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 4-6 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
This year to date, the committee work has included advising the editor on the editorial direction of the magazine- including planning the editorial calendar for the year, identifying subject matter experts, and helping to recruit knowledgeable and diverse content contributors. The committee further advises on and continuously reviews the regularly appearing content. This includes reviewing the column descriptions, considering whether the description is being met and recommending further action if needed. Recommendations this year include instituting a new regular column that targets readers from small and rural areas. The committee created a description for the new column, and a description of the volunteer opportunity, and will soon begin reviewing applications. This year’s other recommendations included implementing a two-year term for regular contributors.

The committee also provides valuable insights from the field and guidance on PL’s overall content strategy across platforms including PL magazine, Public Libraries Online, and the FYI Podcast. The committee is instrumental in keeping the Public Libraries Online updated and relevant to the field. Further, the committee spends time discussing marketing and publicity strategies, and ways to increase advertising. The committee is in the process of choosing the feature article award winners from the 2023 volume year.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (EDISJ):
The committee's focus on advising content and design with an embedded understanding of EDISJ principles, ensures that the editorial practices and content of Public Libraries (and related properties) reflect a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. By featuring a wide range of topics, best practices, and success stories, Public Libraries media expose readers to diverse perspectives within the library profession. This exposure encourages ongoing learning as readers gain insights from different approaches and experiences.

Transformation:
The committee's tasks related to identifying trends, recommending story ideas, and monitoring the online platform contribute to the transformation goal by keeping Public Libraries (and related properties) dynamic, responsive to evolving needs, and relevant to the concerns of the field. The committee works to ensure that Public Libraries (and related properties) keep readers informed about current trends, innovations, and emerging issues in the library field. Staying updated on these aspects is essential for professional growth, enabling readers to adapt to new technologies, changing community needs, and evolving best practices.

Professional Growth:
The committee works to curate thought-provoking articles, interviews with industry leaders, and expert opinions within Public Libraries and its related properties. By providing readers with exposure to diverse perspectives and cutting-edge ideas, we aim not only to disseminate knowledge but also to cultivate critical thinking. This deliberate engagement with thought leadership stimulates professional growth, inspiring readers to explore new approaches and embrace different viewpoints, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development within the library profession.

Advocacy:
Public Libraries, along with its affiliated properties, serves as a platform for advocacy, spotlighting and championing the significant endeavors taking place within libraries. The exposure to impactful advocacy initiatives and effective leadership strategies within the pages of our publications, blog, and/or podcast, aim to inspire readers to advocate for their libraries, and actively contribute to positive transformations within their communities. The committee diligently works to ensure the seamless integration of this objective.

Organizational Excellence:
The committee's work in advising on all aspects of PL and related properties contribute to the goal of organizational excellence. By working toward excellence and identifying areas for improvement, the committee supports the overall health and effectiveness of the organization.

In summary, the committee's work aligns closely with the organization's strategic goals of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice; Transformation; Professional Growth; Advocacy; and Organizational Excellence. The tasks undertaken contribute to the overall advancement of these goals within the context of the organization's mission and values.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
Absolutely, the committee takes a fluid and adaptable approach to ensure that our work aligns seamlessly with the organization's strategic goals. Our commitment lies in actively seeking opportunities to enhance this alignment continuously. By staying agile and responsive, we aim to not only meet but exceed the expectations set by the strategic goals, ensuring that our contributions contribute effectively to the overarching mission and vision of the organization. One way to better align with the organization’s strategic goals is to be in periodic reviews to assess the alignment of the committee's activities with the organization's strategic goals. This ensures that the committee remains on track and can make adjustments as needed.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
n/a

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
PL Advisory Committee invites and welcomes content from all PLA or ALA committees that would advance the strategic goals of our organization.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
This committee is a group of dedicated individuals that put a lot of thought and effort into making Public Libraries (and related properties) relevant, useful and applicable for all public librarians. It's been a pleasure to serve on this committee.

Submitted by Amy Dissmeyer on 01/10/2024

Technology Committee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
We are working on a list of technology competencies. We have been researching lists that have already been created. Once we have that created/updated, our next step is to create learning opportunities based off of the list of competencies.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
This work does align with the strategic goals – it falls in line with Professional Growth, Transformation, and Organizational Excellence goals.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
N/A

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
Not at the moment for us.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?

Submitted by David Lee King on 01/10/2024

Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment Committee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee (MEAC) has four major areas of work, aligned with PLA projects and products, with members participating in subcommittees to support each area.

Project Outcome: MEAC assists PLA with supporting user engagement and developing new resources for the Project Outcome toolkit to meet the evolving needs of the field. During the reporting period, committee members reviewed the results of the Project Outcome user survey and developed ideas for additional promotional work to support increased adoption and utilization.

Benchmark: MEAC supports PLA by advising the development of the Benchmark tool and by helping to develop resources to encourage libraries to engage in benchmarking practices and to improve usability. Over the past six months, new video tutorials and use case documents were added to the site, with more resources in development. Committee members recommended improvements based on a report from the University of Michigan School of Information, as well as giving input on marketing efforts. The committee regularly provides support to PLA staff responsible for product development, including input on prioritization of potential product features.

Topical Surveys: MEAC assists PLA staff with the development, testing, and reporting of new annual topical surveys administered via Benchmark. Subcommittee members provide support from the field, with a focus on helping to boost response rates, and help develop the current year survey. In summer 2023, MEAC members helped PLA staff present the results of the 2022 topical survey at the ALA Annual Conference and through a free webinar. Also during the reporting period, the Public Library Technology Survey was conducted (last conducted in 2020). The survey had the highest yet participating rate since the launch of the new topical surveys – 16.4%. Promotion through committee members’ professional networks contributed to this strong participation.

Case Studies: MEAC facilitates the writing of case studies for PLA’s data tools. Subcommittee members focused on identifying ways to make the process of soliciting, preparing, and reviewing case studies more efficient, to enable a more consistent process and increased publication. After reviewing the model used by ACRL, subcommittee members began developing a streamlined process; this work is still underway.

In addition to these efforts, MEAC members worked with PLA staff to curate the November/December 2023 issue of Public Libraries magazine, which had a theme of library data. The committee also conducted an environmental scan regarding what data tools are currently being used by public libraries.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
MEAC members continue to pursue these growth areas in the 2023-24 committee year:

EDISJ – Data is a necessary component to advancing EDISJ in the profession. Through PLA's data tools, we help those in the profession better understand our communities (an essential step in making our spaces more inclusive), learn from other communities' successes, and measure our impact. In addition, applying an EDISJ lens to our committee's work will help ensure that data is gathered responsibly and that necessary context is provided when we present and share data.

Professional Growth – Data literacy is a growing field within librarianship, but there remain significant knowledge gaps within the profession regarding how to compile and evaluate data for purposes such as planning and advocacy. We will continue to encourage members to seek opportunities to contribute to supporting professional learning and development related to library data and evaluation.

Advocacy – PLA’s data tools provide considerable value to the profession, in helping us tell the story of how public libraries benefit communities. MEAC members are very invested in the success of these tools, and we are exploring ways we can increase awareness about the data, tools, and resources available to support library staff and leaders in communicating the impact and value of libraries to stakeholders.

Transformation – MEAC members represent a good cross-section of the field, with representation from public libraries, state library agencies, support organizations, and the private sector, from locations across the country. MEAC will continue to draw from these perspectives to identify emerging needs in the field. Working with the PLA data products, MEAC members will contribute to identification of trends and development of resources to support responsiveness to community needs.

Organizational Excellence – MEAC contributes to the quality of data products offered through PLA and will continue to work closely with PLA staff to support ongoing product development, as well as to advocate for increased adoption of data-informed practices that are supported by PLA’s products, educational opportunities, and publications.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
While MEAC will transition from a standing committee to an advisory group, much of our committee’s work remains ongoing, including promoting the results of the Library Technology survey, preparing for the 2024 Library Staff survey, and preparing for the 10-year anniversary of Project Outcome.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
We hope to continue building connections with our colleagues in two ACRL committees (Project Outcome for Academic Libraries Editorial board and Academic Library Trends and Survey Editorial Board).

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
We were thrilled to support the data-themed issue of Public Libraries this fall. MEAC’s liaisons – Sara Goek and Katina Jones – are fabulous to work with. They do a great job balancing the needs of the profession with the sustainability of data products. We appreciate the opportunity to continue MEAC’s good work as an advisory group.

Submitted by Jerianne Thompson, Dan Hensley on 01/09/2024

Annual Conference 2024 Program Subcommittee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The Annual Conference 2024 Program Subcommittee was tasked with reviewing proposals for PLA programming at ALA Annual 2024. This year we received more than 125 proposals but could only select 15 so there were difficult decisions to be made. Each committee member reviewed around 35 proposals. The committee then met to go over the top scoring proposals and make final selections. We tried to make sure that we selected a variety of programs and that the selected proposals represented a diverse range of topics, speakers, and types of program (panel, presentation, etc.)

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
The committee appreciated the updated review rubric used this year and felt that it helped guide decision making to align with strategic goals.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
N/A

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
Our staff liaisons did a great job of conveying some useful information from the committee tasked with selecting programs for PLA 2024 (ex. they let us know if a proposal was very similar to something that had been accepted for the PLA conference). In PLA conference years it might be useful for the chair of this committee and the chair of the PLA Conference Program Subcommittee and the staff liaisons to meet together and share information.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
I had a really great committee-everyone was very involved and responsive and I appreciate all of their hard work. I think we selected a good lineup of programs for ALA Annual 2024!

Submitted by Laura McGrath on 01/09/2024

Membership Advisory Group – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The current work of this group is to develop new membership and create engagement to retain membership in PLA. The work of the Membership Advisory Group is integral to the strategic plan because our goal is to create lifelong members who actively engage with the association. This year we sent personal emails to all new members welcoming them to the organization, highlighting professional development opportunities and other benefits for membership. Advisory Group members manned the information desk during ALA Annual in Chicago answering questions, promoting membership and PLA Conference. The group is currently working on passive engagement activities to be available at the conference lounge in Columbus.

We also have continued division member representation on the ALA Membership Promotion Task Force and Co-chair Meredith McCarthy has volunteered to serve as part of the ALA Workgroup for Standardization of Division Membership Dues as a division member representative.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
The committee has discussed opportunities to be more involved with promoting active participation in PLA by both new and existing PLA members such as more openness regarding volunteer opportunities and clarity / less jargon being used to indicate the charges and activities of different organizational units. We would like to be part of the transformation of PLA to a more inclusive organization by examining and removing potential roadblocks to that participation.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
Writing personal emails to new members helps create engagement and truly welcomes new members and we would recommend continuing the practice next year. The biggest challenge is engaging members to remain members in non-conference years. We would suggest continuing to be creative while looking for opportunities for new members to become involved and volunteer.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
The Professional Development Advisory Group provides many no/ low cost trainings that provide a great value added resource for members. We also believe there are opportunities to partner with the Leadership Development Committee to promote opportunities to develop new leaders from new members.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
We have a wonderful team of diverse library workers representing libraries big and small across the country who enjoy being integral to the member experience at PLA. Samantha Lopez is a wonderful staff liaison and excels at being very informative while also giving us the room to be creative with our ideas.

Submitted by Meredith McCarthy / Sarah Tansley on 01/09/2024

Continuing Education Advisory Group – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 0 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The webinars that the committee reviewed support strategic goals of Professional Growth, Transformation, EDISJ and
Advocacy and Awareness through their focus and content. The webinars also supported the strategic goal of
Organizational Excellence by providing high quality opportunities for continuing education and training from a trusted
source. The group reviewed webinar proposals and selected eight for presentation between September and December 2023.
Selected topics are:
1. Centering Teens in the Fight Against Censorship
2. Disability Inclusion in Library Services
3. The Mentor Monitor Program as a supplement to security and resource to staff
4. IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Solutions) in the Library
5. Empowering Future Managers through Cohort Mentoring
6. Embracing a Public Service Mindset to Increase your Value to the Community and Change the Narrative
7. Using Passive Readers' Advisory to Market your Collection

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
The webinars selected seem to align well with PLA's strategic goals. If future proposals seem to stray from the strategic goals, it might be helpful to have those submitting proposals note on their applications which strategic goals their webinar will align with and how/why.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
N/A

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
It may be helpful in the future to communicate/ consult with other committees such as the EDISJ committee on webinar proposals to encourage alignment across committees/ organizations. It may also be helpful to recommend proposals that aren’t selected due to sheer numbers to other committees as appropriate, and/ or request help promoting selected webinars within committees.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
This is a well-run committee that requires focused attention without being too time consuming. We appreciate the opportunity to have input on continuing education offered by PLA. Angela is great to work with, communicates well, and gives good directives and support. Thank you!

Submitted by Krista Riggs on 01/08/2024

Digital Literacy Committee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 1 time this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The Digital Literacy Committe met in September 2023 to discuss their goals for the year which included;
o How can the committee help PLA improve resources for the field
o Increase the visibility of PLA resources, and strengthen libraries' ability to advance community digital literacy?
For the goal of increasing visibility, we discussed how to expand promotion of the work of libraries on digital literacy, PLA grant/ incentive funding opportunities and use of Digital learn platform and suite of classes. This work supports the Advocacy and Awareness focus of the strategic goals. There is now an identified contact at COSLA for PLA staff to send information on Digital Literacy opportunities that will be forwarded to the national COSLA group, expanding our reach for promotion and advocacy outside for PLA/ALA.

Other work of the group supports Advocacy and Awareness as well is Professional Develpoment. The Digital Literacy Advisory Group is encouraging sharing by members of their innovative work on programs and services they are offering on ALA Connect, and blog posts. Also, we are encouraging members to work with PLA and local library associations in offering webinars or other presentations on their own digital literacy work. We have had a member present at a local conference, several blog posts, and library systems of members present as state conferences.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
Under Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion there are opportunities to provide digitally literacy skills to underrepresented groups by expanding Digital Learn offerings in other languages.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
This would be included in the next reporting period.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
Communcation with the PLA Technolgy Advisory Group would be helpful in establishing the digital literacy skills need for emerging technology such as AI and the skillsets needed to participate in society as the pace of technology evolution continues to increase. This would support both professional growth and advocacy and awareness. It would also support the EDISJ lens as underrepresented groups are often left behind in the adaptation of new technology. The is still a prevalent assumption everyone has a smart phone or computer and knows how to use it.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?

Submitted by Julianne Rist on 01/05/2024

Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The current work of the EDISJ committee is as follows:
1. Subcommittee to design website to promote EDISJ activities that are adaptable to all library settings. The next steps are to promote via the PLA website and at the April 2024 conference.
2. Subcommittee for EDISJ policy questions. That subcommittee has stalled.
3. New to the committee is a EDISJ table in the vendor at PLA 2024. The table will be staffed by attending committee members and ALA COD committee members will be invited to participate. Some examples of EDIJS activities – scan QRCode which allows access to the new website, handouts about different diversity issues and sessions, survey attendees on what they would like to see EDISJ accomplish, etc.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
Yes, partner with other diversity committees in order to share resources and not duplicate efforts.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
New to the committee is the idea of a EDISJ table in the vendor at PLA 2024. The table will be staffed by attending committee members and ALA COD committee members will be invited to participate.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
Yes, ALA ODLOS.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
Nothing at this time.

Submitted by Peggy Tseng and Amiya Hutson on 01/04/2024

Leadership Development Committee – July–December 2024 Report


The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The Leadership Development Committee has hosted the Stronger Together series of conversation based sessions throughout the fall and early winter. Discussion topics included: Purposeful Service for Supervisors, Managers, and Administrators, Purposeful Service for Frontline Employees, Working Through Intellectual Freedom Challenges, and Navigating Community Engagement. We have hosted eight sessions with a total attendance of 446.

By hosting the sessions, our committee has had the opportunity to interact with other committees and board members, as well as the membership. Additionally, the topics selected for the series were done so to specifically align with the PLA strategic goals.

The committee also submitted an article ("Empowering Library Leadership") that was published in the September/October 2023 issue of Public Libraries.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
Not at this time.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
NA

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
As previously mentioned, the Stronger Together series presented an opportunity for cross collaboration between the EDISJ Committee, PLA board of directors, as well PLA’s Advocacy and Strategic Partnership Committee. I believe that encouraging opportunities for the committees to work together is a welcome way to work toward strategic goals.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
On behalf of the Leadership Development Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PLA staff that has assisted us in launching and facilitating the Stronger Together series. This includes Steven Hofmann, Mary Hirsh, Angela Maycock, and Abigail Gadomski.

Submitted by Megan Maurer on 01/04/2024